This recipe from the Imbibe Test Kitchen offers a unique twist on mulled cider, and the cider-soaked orange pieces add a delicious surprise to every glass.
4 1/2–6 oz. Slivovitz plum brandy
24 oz. unsweetened apple cider
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
6–9 whole cloves
3–4 cinnamon sticks
Tools: large pot, ladle
Glass: mugs or punch cups
Combine ingredients in a large pot and warm over low heat for at least 30 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn’t boil. Ladle cider into cups, straining out spices or leaving them in, according to personal taste. Make sure each cup gets at least one cider-soaked orange section. Add an optional garnish of a sugarplum (traditionally, a round or disc-shaped candy). Serves 6.